Magic Johnson joins UM to take on AIDS
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Clear Health Alliance is rolling out a brand new front in the fight against HIV and AIDS with the help of a well-known advocate and sports figure.
Magic Johnson's legendary basketball career ended 20 years ago after he was diagnosed with HIV. Since then he has dedicated his life to battling the disease. "We need to concern ourselves with people who are not in care, and we need to concern ourselves with people who are not infected," said University of Miami Miller School of Medicine doctor Michael Kolber.
Monday, Johnson visited South Florida to help make a major contribution to the fight. "Mike called me to join this incredible team," said Johnson, "as we call it, the Dream Team of HIV and AIDS."
Miami-Dade County ranks number one in the country in new cases of HIV and AIDS per capita and Broward County ranks number two. "The doctors want to reach out to more patients who are here in Miami," said Kolber. "Florida has approximately 10 percent of HIV cases in our country, and as indicated previously. Miami-Dade County continues to be one of the epicenters. Fifty percent of all individuals living with HIV are not getting care at this time."
Insurance providers are also joining in to make care more affordable, transportation to doctors appointments more accessible and medications cheaper.
Miami-Dade commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones also attended the event. Her district is the most affected by patients coping with AIDS.
Johnson said he will continue to reach out to patients and encourage constant care and treatment. "In 20 years there have been millions of people who have died, so I know that I have been blessed," he said.
Magic Johnson will continue to be the face of this project.
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